On February 14th, Valentine’s Day, romantic love is often expressed with flowers, cards, or heart shaped boxes of candy. In the bible, true love, that agape love that Jesus referred to in Matthew 22:37-40, is a love of the will. We choose to wish the highest possible good for others. That love of the will must be expressed in action. In 1 John 3:18 John wrote, “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” True biblical love not only wishes for others the highest possible good but also acts to bring that good about.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:14 the apostle Paul exhorts the brethren to “warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.” If we truly love someone, will we not warn them if we see them engaged in actions that are dangerous either physically or spiritually? Love should also lead us to “have the same care for one another” (1 Corinthians 12:25) and to “comfort those who are in any trouble, with the same comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (2 Corinthians 1:4). In 1 Corinthians 8:1 Paul tells us that “love edifies” or builds up those that are weaker in the faith. We should always strive to help less spiritually mature Christians to grow stronger in the faith. And love will help us to always “be patient with all.”
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
Cards, flowers or candy are always appreciated, but the true expression of love through actions, as we each work to help the other on our spiritual journey from earth to heaven, is beyond price.